Pakistan never wanted escalation along LoC, says Basit

Published: October 8, 2016
Pakistan’s envoy to India says Delhi is setting dangerous precedent. PHOTO: ONLINE

Pakistan’s envoy to India says Delhi is setting dangerous precedent. PHOTO: ONLINE

Pakistan’s envoy to India has said Islamabad never wanted any escalation in tensions with New Delhi.

“We never wanted to escalate the situation either vertically or horizontally,” High Commissioner Abdul Basit told the Outlook magazine in an interview published on Friday. “Pakistan has always proportionately responded to whatever [ceasefire] violation has taken place in the past. That continues to be our stance,” he said.

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In reply to a question about what he thought happened on the night of September 29 – the night India claimed its army carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC) – Basit said: “If you  [India] want to label cross-LoC firing as surgical strikes, that is your prerogative and we can’t stop you.”

“But I can assure you, had there been any surgical strikes, Pakistan would have responded immediately and proportionately. If there is any action from the Indian side, you can rest assured Pakistan will respond.”

Basit, however, warned that India was setting a dangerous precedent by claiming to carrying out covert raids across the LoC. “It is very dangerous to nurture false expectations. There are high stakes involved on both sides,” he said. Asked why he thought Delhi would mislabel ‘routine operations’, the envoy replied “it is for India to explain.”

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He added that “we are very confident that our deterrence is working and Pakistan will never allow the credibility of its deterrence to erode.”

Basit also criticised Delhi’s attempts to portray an indigenous freedom movement in Indian-Occupied Kashmir as ‘cross-border terrorism’. “When you look at the Kashmir problem through the prism of terror, it results in a wrong diagnosis and prescription,” he said.

“When thousands of Kashmiris attend Burhan Wani’s funeral, you cannot deny that it is a legitimate and indigenous struggle. You cannot expect this movement to peter out and therefore it is important to look at the situation realistically.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2016.


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Reader Comments (4)

  • Bharatiya Australian
    Oct 8, 2016 - 8:56AM

    When is India going to get PoK vacated??? Time to get the occupiers out.
    India’s biggest diplomatic mistake was to give back 93000 PoWs on 1971 without getting them out of PoK.Recommend

  • AD
    Oct 8, 2016 - 9:00AM

    There was no strike, dont send mixed messages.Recommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Oct 8, 2016 - 9:08AM

    Looks like Basit day’s are numbered at the coveted cushy job being Pakistani ambassador to India. Why is Basit clattered, India was defensive prior to Modi and now India is offensive-defensive, try to deal… Simple or your perks have been cut in India by the Government?Recommend

  • auginpk
    Oct 8, 2016 - 11:05AM

    Pakistan did the right thing.Recommend

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